Tech N9ne has got to be the hardest working rap artist in hip hop. The independent rapper has recently embarked on an 82-city tour which he will do in 85 days. Do the math, and it doesn't equal too many days off. But according to the Strange Music artist, who just released his new album, All 6's and 7's, being on the road is like being on vacation.
"That’s my vacation. I have a lot more time when I’m on tour," says Tech in an exclusive interview with BET.com. "I wake up at 2, do a meet and greet, at 4 I go eat, and then do the show later on." Tech's work ethic is a bit out of the ordinary. While most rappers can't handle being on tour that much, Tech says it's his "habitat." When he ran into Joe Budden recently, the Slaughterhouse MC joked about not being able to handle the hectic touring. "Joe looked at me and said, 'Good Luck. I'm never doing that again'."
Spending much of last year on the road, it's surprising that Tech actually had time to record a new album, or much less visit Lil Wayne in jail as he did while the superstar rapper was locked up at NYC's Rikers Island. After Tech heard that Wayne had mentioned him in an interview, he went to Rikers to make the connection. "I wanted to know how he knew about me." Tech says Wayne told him he'd been listening to him since '98. The meeting between the two MCs led to a collaboration titled "F**k Food," that appears on Tech's new album. And that's not the only heavyweight guest appearance on the new album. B.o.B, T-Pain and Snoop Dogg all come into Tech's Strangeland this time around.
Even major label artists know the power of an independent artist who can sustain without the industry machine. It's something they respect. But Tech credits hip hop for his own work ethic. "I learned from the old school. I was in the crowd when KRS did 'The Bridge Is Over.' I was in the crowd when P.E. [Public Enemy] was doing their thing, when LL Cool J was coming out with a car on stage. I was there when Naughty did "Hip Hop Hooray" in Atlanta. Just looking and learning."
(Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)